Let’s take a step back from government waste and talk about an interesting subject. Since this is a general election year, voter rights/non-rights/eligibility issues will, as they always do, make headlines in the news.
Voting is an important privilege to those living in a representative republic. Quick civics lesson. We do NOT live in a democracy. We live in a representative republic. In a democracy, everything is put up for a general vote. Under a democracy, mob rule generally wins. This is bad. When the mob (majority) rules, there is no place for the minority. And by minority, I mean any classification of people that is smaller than another. When compared to checkers, chess players are in the minority. When compared to all scholars, Spelling Bee winners are in the minority. According to the 2010 Census, women make up the majority of the US population. So men are the minority. Not that men have a voice anyway, now it would be even less…..
The USA is a representative republic. That means that we elect people who we believe to be educated on the affairs of state and believe to have their constituents’ best interests in mind. At least that’s the plan. And like Virgil always says, “Nice plan.”
Every so often we, as the citizens, have an opportunity to decide whether or not the elected officials are acting in our best interest and the best interests of our city, state, and nation. This is where voting comes into the conversation. If we don’t see an elected official acting in what we believe to be the best interests, we vote for another candidate. If enough people agree, then the old is tossed out and in comes the new.
So you can see that voting is critical to the check balance system established by the Founding Fathers. Voting is the citizens’ opportunity to fire elected officials who are not doing their job.
So now I get to the real point of this rant…. Voter eligibility.
In my state, Georgia, there are pretty specific rules and laws to voter eligibility. You can find them here: Georgia Voter Eligibility
Here is a quick rundown of the highlights:
To register to vote in the state of Georgia, you must be:
- A citizen of the United States.
- A legal resident of Georgia and of the county in which you wish to vote.
- At least 17 1/2 years of age.
Also, you may not register to vote if you are currently:
- Serving any sentence imposed by the conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.
- Judicially determined to be mentally incompetent.
- it’s racist
- it’s discriminating against the poor
- it’s discriminating against the elderly
- voter fraud isn’t a problem
- I thought Republicans were against government regulations. Hypocrite.
- This was a real comment I received from a usually intelligent friend: “I moved a while back, registered to vote in my new precinct, but have not updated my driver’s license. I might be turned away.”
- Drive a car
- Buy alcohol
- Buy cigarettes
- Enter a casino
- Buy a lottery ticket
- Cash a lottery ticket over $600 (two forms of ID required)
- Compete in American Idol
- Receive medical assistance at Planned Parenthood
- Apply for government housing
- Apply for Medicare
- Buy spray paint
- Cash a check
- Apply for a job
- Fly on an airplane
- Go to a bar
- Get a library card
- Rent a car, bike, canoe, etc.
- See an R rated movie
- Get married
- Rent a hotel room
- Buy real estate
- Rent a video game with an MA rating
- Buy over the counter allergy medicine
- Pick up your children from school
- Buy a gun
- Test drive a car
- Pay a cable bill
- Buy a cel phone
- Pick up a package from FedEx or UPS
And this is a small list.
Yet, it’s racist, hate speak, anti-American, extremist Right-Wing, vote stifling when I simply want someone to identify themselves as an eligible voter when they choose the elected officials that determine the fate of my country. Why is that so difficult? What is so wrong with enforcing the law?
And don’t even get me started with the whole “get out the vote” drives. If someone doesn’t know that it’s important for them to vote and doesn’t take the initiative to get registered, nor finds a way to get to a polling precinct or cast an absentee ballot, then I don’t want them voting. Chances are they are really stupid, uneducated, and incapable of making an intelligent decision based on the facts of which candidate to choose. I’ll even go so far as to mentally categorize these people as lower on the human being food chain than my puppy lovin’ rednecks from Athens.
Yep. That low.
Remember, it was in Chicago, home of our sitting President, that the phrase was coined, “Vote early and often.”
I’m just saying…….